• Pontus Propaganda against Turkey

    From faygun@gmail.com@21:1/5 to All on Fri Jun 23 04:39:30 2017
    16 Temmuz 1999 Cuma 10:00:00 UTC+3 tarihinde Cukurovali yazdı:

    Setting The Record Straight On Pontus Propaganda Against Turkey

    Greece claims that between 1916-1923 the Greek Orthodox population then living in the eastern Black Sea region of Turkey became the victim of a systematic policy of extermination by the Turkish authorities of the day and that those who were able to escape did so by taking refuge in Greece. On 24 February 1994, the Greek Parliament adopted "19 May" as a "Day for Commemorating the Turkish genocide against the Pontus Greeks". But history and the facts are at odds with Greek claims and point unmistakably in
    another direction.


    The term "Pontus" evolves from "Pont-Euxin", which in ancient Greek denotes the Black Sea. The emergence of Hellenic influence in the Black Sea region can be traced back to the Ionnians who established Greek type city-states in Sinop and Trabzon in the VI. century B.C.. The Macedonian King of Philippe and his son, Alexander the Great, drove the Persians out of the South-East Black Sea Coasts and consolidated Greek influence in the region. Following the takeover of Istanbul by Catholic/Latin Europeans, the Byzantines living in Istanbul emigrated to the Eastern Black Sea region and founded the
    Kingdom of Pontus. Despite the fact that it was unable to maintain full and effective control over the region, the Pontus Kingdom managed to survive for some 250 years and later came under the domination of the Ottoman Empire in 1461 following the conquest of Istanbul by Fatih Sultan Mehmet.

    Though formerly an element of simple folklore, the term "Pontus" was after the events in Cyprus in 1974, loaded with ideological content with the aim
    of fuelling hostile feelings towards Turkey. It was contemplated by Greek policy-makers that the exploitation of the "Pontus" idea would help in their efforts to undermine the political and cultural principles on which the modern Turkish state stands and would also provide a pretext for forcing out members of the Turkish Minority from Western Thrace.

    The Greek priority target is the destabilization of the multi-cultural
    ethnic composition of Turkey, presumably to be achieved by inciting micro-nationalist feelings. The aim is to challenge Turkey's territorial integrity. Thus Greece can be said to be in pursuit of the following objectives in this connection:

    - To tarnish the image of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk who frustrated the Greek invasion of Turkey.

    - To deceive the world community that Turkey's history is replete with genocides and that its ideology is based on racist principles.

    - To present PKK terrorism as a "war of liberation" and to constitute with the PKK a front against Turkey, by creating a linkage between the "Pontus Greeks" and the "Kurds".

    - To encourage anti-Turkish sentiments in the so-called Pontus Greeks by attributing to them a fictitious "Pontus identity".

    - Last, but most important, to utilise the Pontus element as a pretext in
    the de-Turkification process of Western Thrace.

    Indeed, in the effort to change the demographical composition of the intensely Turkish populated Western Thrace, the Greek government settled in Western Thrace 120,000 "Pontian Greeks" that emigrated from the territories of the former Soviet Union. In line with the Greek plan of forcing the Turks out of the region, these immigrants, who did not even know Greek language, were injected and saturated with a forced "Pontus consciousness" so that
    they would acquiesce in their being settled in Western Thrace.


    In the first part of the twentieth century when the Ottoman Empire was fast collapsing, ethnic Greek irregulars, armed and encouraged by Greece,
    operated in the Turkish Black Sea coast regions. The Ottoman authorities had considerable difficulty in controlling them. Banditry by these groups often deteriorated into slaughter of Turkish villagers. Over 40 ethnic Greek
    bandit groups plundered Turkish villagers and murdered at least 2,000 Turks, including elderly, women, and children. After the 1918 Armistice Agreement, Greece and the Greek community in Anatolia tried to take advantage of the weakness of the Ottoman Sultan in maintaining effective control in the
    region and the Greek irregulars attempted to create an ethnic Greek state on the Black Sea coast modeled on the ancient state of Pontus.

    Many foreign observers who at the time visited the region comment on the turmoil which these Greek irregulars had created. The American High Commissioner, Mark Bristol, in a report he wrote after a journey along the Black Sea coast, drew attention to the anarchy which the Greeks were fomenting.

    During his visit to Zile in February 1920, even a Greek lieutenant was bewildered by the menacing actions of Bishop Eftimious against the public authorities. Lieutenant Karaiskos reported that Eftimios threatened to send his 5,000 armed irregulars to the city, if the prefect of Samsun failed to release the imprisoned chief of one of his bands.

    On July 7 1920, the Athens Pontus Committee, in a memorandum delivered to
    the Greek government, proposed that 20,000 well-equipped men from Pontus should be sent to inland districts of Anatolia to support the invading Greek forces. The very fact that the armed irregulars of the ethnic Greeks in the Pontus numbered 20,000 reveals the magnitude of the threat they posed to the Turkish civilian population in the region.

    While public disorder persisted in the eastern Black Sea region, the authorities of the Allied occupation forces in Turkey deliberately misrepresented the precautionary measures taken by the Turkish security forces as "genocide." They did so with the expectation that turmoil in the region would give them a pretext for occupying it under the Armistice Agreement.

    On May 19, 1919, Mustafa Kemal landed at Samsun mandated by the Ottoman Government to inspect the situation. Contrary to claims being made in
    Greece, Mustafa Kemal did no more than prepare reports about the situation and dispatch them to the Ottoman Government. Mustafa Kemal's only intervention was in late 1920, when he instructed local Turkish authorities to be more attentive to the needs of the ethnic Greek population. (These instructions are registered in the official minutes of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.)


    Greek claims that there were "700,000" Greeks in the eastern Turkish Black Sea region and that 350,000 of these were slaughtered is a blatant
    distortion of history.

    Even a cursory examination of foreign and local sources about the population of Greeks in the region would immediately establish that Greek suggestion of "700,000" is fictitious. The King Krane Commission, authorised by the American government, reported on 28 August 1919 that the estimated number of Greek residents in the eastern Black Sea region was 200,000. "Documents Diplomatiques" issued by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, noted that, according to the Ottoman census held between 1893 and 1897, the Greek population was 193,000 in Trabzon and 76,068 in Sivas Provinces. This means that the total Greek population at that time was 269,068. In 1923 at the Lausanne Conference, Elefterios Venizelos, the Prime Minister of Greece, relied on exaggerated numbers given by the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Istanbul and claimed that the population of Greeks living in the Black Sea region was 447,828. This figure is excessive, but even if one accepts it, it is still far below the current Greek claim of 700,000.

    Nor is there any evidence in historical documents supporting Greek allegations that there existed 350,000 ethnic Greeks in the Canik Sanjak of Trabzon. Leon Maccas, in a book entitled "L' Héllenisme de L'Asie Mineure" noted that there were 136,087 Greek inhabitants in the area. The 1906 Yearbook of the Province of Trabzon contradicts Maccas by specifying that
    the province had only 75,062 ethnic Greek inhabitants in Canik Sanjak. The Patriarchate records in Istanbul put the ethnic Greeks of the sanjak at 193,000. Although these figures differ from one another, they are all well below the present day Greek claim of 350,000. Only around 100,000 ethnic Greeks emigrated to Greece from Canik at the time of the population
    exchange, which again makes it very difficult to assert, as the Greeks do, that 350,000 people were annihilated.

    In 1923, with the conclusion of the "Agreement on the Exchange of Turkish
    and Greek Populations" between Turkey and Greece, 322,500 Greek residents of the region emigrated peacefully to Greece. Given the fact that 322,500
    Greeks emigrated to Greece and the above estimates about the population of Greeks in the region, the allegation of a genocide involving 350,000 Greeks stands as a malicious lie.

    History thus points to Greece as the party that should apologise for the war crimes it committed during its invasion of Anatolia, and the atrocities committed by Greek bands in the Black Sea region, instead of being the party that can shamelessly level unfounded allegations about the so-called Pontus genocide. Article 59 of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne refers to the war crimes committed by Greece in Anatolia. It will be recalled that crimes committed
    in wartime against civilians are among the most serious forms of human
    rights breaches. Today, Greece is continuing to violate the human rights of the Turkish Minority in Western Thrace despite her commitments and obligations stemming from international treaties. The world community, as documented in numerous reports by human rights watch groups, is aware of the fact that the Turkish Minority in Western Thrace is subject to policies of systematic exclusion and discrimination. Greece cannot hide behind distasteful lies to cover up its own past record and its present day
    policies aimed at suppression of the Turkish Minority.

    Sayın Çukurovalı zayıf İngilizce ile anlayabildiğim kadarıyla yazınız için teşekkür ederim.Ben Trabzon Çaykara'lı olarak onların bahsettiği halkım.Rumca da bilirim. Bu konu üzerinde özel merakım da var.Bölgede konuştuğumuz Rum ca
    nın bize nasıl kaldığı üzerinde çalışmaktayım. Tekrar teşekkür ederim. Fehmi Aygün.

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